Which European towns or cities are architecturally most similar today to how they would have been in the 16th and 17th centuries? A different way of asking the question: which contemporary European towns or cities would give the best impression of what a city would have looked like at that time?

  • I don't think there are any cities that are similar now to what they were then, but if towns are ok then perhaps Óbidos.
    – Tomas By
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 18:55
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    Convince me this isn't an X-Y problem - an ill-defined proposed solution to an unspecified problem. Are you looking for film-shoot locations? What's is the REAL problem you are attempting to solve. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 23:08
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    It sounds like a big list and a matter of opinion.
    – John Dee
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 3:40
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    @PieterGeerkens I think it's helpful in trying to understand an historical period if you can get a vivid sense of the space people lived in. Books like Friedrichs' The Early Modern City go a long way in this direction, but I have yet to find mentions of particular contemporary towns or cities whose architecture is still largely 17th century and earlier.
    – John
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 7:58
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    @PieterGeerkens If I had to frame this as a problem to solve, it would be: Which towns or cities can one visit to experience this sense of space?
    – John
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


Mdina in Malta is fairly authentic. It (and other sites in Malta) appeared in Game of Thrones.

Areal view of Mdina

Courtyard outside of Littlefinger's brothel in Game of Thrones

There are many more authentic places in Europe. Cursory googling for things like "medieval town Europe" yields plenty of other examples.

Which towns or cities can one visit to experience this sense of space?

There are far too many to enumerate. Plenty of otherwise modern cities have an old district full of narrow streets and old buildings - including in cities that were mostly destroyed in WW2.

Here's Rue aux Fromages in Caen (France), as an example:

Rue aux Fromages in Caen

Here's another such street in Eger (Hungary), whose center is occasionally called "the Baroque Pearl of Europe":

Medieval street in Eger

But, again, the above are mere examples. Similarly authentic sites are all over the place in Europe if you care to search for them.

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    the cities of Grolle, Ciudad rodrigo and almeida are good examples too that would add XVIc / XVIIc fortified cities to your nice list.
    – CptEric
    Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 8:36

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